Adithya Reddy, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala.
Name of the Organisation and City
Foundation for Democratic Reforms, Flat No: 806, Srinivasa Towers, Beside ITC Kakatiya Hotel, Begumpet, Hyderabad, 500016.
FDR is a non-profit organisation founded by Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan for the purpose of public-policy related research. It was established in 1996 and is based in Hyderabad, India.
The goals of FDR are furthered by the activities of LOK SATTA (People Power), which was established in 1997 and quickly grew into India’s largest citizens’ movement.
The website can be accessed HERE.
How big was the office? Team strength?
The office is situated on the 8th floor and consists of a spacious hall, an FDR information resource center, a computer room and a kitchen.
The team comprises of about 5 research assistants (RA) and each intern is assigned various kinds of work, depending on the area of interest.
FDR also has a sister organization called Forum for Good Governance (FGG), and it is located in the Lakdikapul area.
Application procedure. Internship contact details.
If you are interested in interning here, drop a mail to [email protected] with a cover letter and a CV.
The application procedure is very efficient and you usually get a reply within 2-3 days. Getting the internship is not easy, so you have to apply before 2-3 months in advance if you are serious about getting through.
It is then expected for you to provide a write up on a topic of your choice. So basically if they like your write up, you are in.
Duration. No. of Days/week. Timings.
1 month. 6 days/week. 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. The timings are quite flexible and sometimes you even have to stay up to 8-9 pm depending upon the workload.
I didn’t face the problem of accommodation as I am based in Hyderabad. But for those coming from outside, there are many PG’s near the Ameerpet or Secunderabad(about 4-5 kms from the office) area.
You can get a decent accommodation for around 5000-6000 p/m and there are many buses which connect your PG to the work place.
FDR is located on the Punjagutta Road, just opposite the Chief Minister’s office and there is always a lot of traffic.
I would strongly recommend anyone who wants to intern at FDR to fix a PG close to either Ameerpet or Secunderabad, as it would ensure less travel without being caught in the horrible Hyderabad traffic.
First impression. First day, formalities, etc.
Though my internship was in the first week of June, I ventured to join a few days early mainly to acquaint myself with the workplace, and also partly because I had nothing else to do.
I reported directly to Fatima Mam who was in charge of the internship division, and well, pretty much everything at the organisation.
She then introduced me to everyone in the office, and explained to me about the duties and responsibilities of each of the people who were associated with the organisation.
Later followed the, “Not to be late to the office, to be serious at work, and not idle away time” pep talk. My initial impression was that the co-ordination between the members of the office was pretty amazing and that size doesn’t always matter.
To elucidate, it can be said that even though the office is pretty small and also that one doesn’t have the tag of interning in a reputed law firm, the kind of work which is given is quite interesting. So from there on, each intern is assigned some work depending on his or her preferences.
If you are a law student and you have an interest in various other matters which not only include law, then this internship is for you. There is so much work in the organisation that you don’t really have to go and ask for it, as it always keeps running up to you.
Since the organisation is connected with Lok Satta, most of the work here is party related. But that does not mean you do not get a chance to work on anything which is non-party. The organisation not only takes care of the party research work, but it is also responsible for working and researching on the current issues prevalent in the society at large.
One of the most important matters I had a chance to work on was the SC/ST sub-plan of the Kukatpally constituency where the main work was to go to the slums and collect information about the different problems faced by people of the backward societies.
This further involved compiling the data into a computer and then submitting it to the Municipal Office of the area for their use.
The other project which I was lucky enough to work on was the Project of Forum for Good Governance (sister organisation of FDR) on research and analysis on criminal background of elected representatives from Andhra Pradesh.
The study involved classifying of offences under IPC and Cr.PC, evaluation of nature offences and characterizing the criminal antecedents of elected representatives. There was not much law related work expect a critical analysis of the recent Gujarat HC on the 97th amendment.
Apart from these main issues, there was also other work on the problem of civic amenities faced in Hyderabad and daily monitoring of news from select newspapers.
And finally at the end of the internship, you are supposed to select any of the topics which you have worked on and give a presentation.
Work environment, people.
The work environment is very chilled out. You are made to feel like you are a part of a family, and everyone is very respectful even to the interns.
What I liked most was that the research assistants have no airs at all, and they treat you like a co-worker, rather than just an intern.
But that does not mean you can take leverage by not working when you have to, it is automatically expected that you complete your work on due time because sometimes the matters in hand are of very urgent importance and any negligence on your part can prove to quite detrimental.
Also I was lucky to have so many co-interns around.
There were a few interns from SLS Pune, NLUO, NUJS, TISS and IIT’s.
Since I was among one of the youngest of the lot, I had a great deal to learn from the interaction.
Best and bad things.
The best part of the internship would be definitely the interaction with Jayapraksh Narayan (MLA of the Kukatpally constituency) Sir who I still believe is one of the most underrated politicians in the country.
I got a chance to meet him almost every week during my internship, and I can say without any doubt that he is one of the sweetest, intelligent and humble persons I’ve ever met.
He had so much to share during his interactions, and he would not shy away from answering any questions posed by interns (he’s really got some guts).
Even though there was a lot of work, that didn’t stop us from having fun. Since the office is centrally situated, there are a lot of places nearby like Kibbeh, Mainland China, 10D, Club8, etc where you could chill out. After all, what’s an internship without a wee tiny bit of entertainment?
I can’t really think of any bad things to say. But remember not to piss off the researchers, and to do your work regularly. (I was a bit lazy initially and got off on the wrong foot with one of them. I apologized.)
Since my house was situated about 20km away, that did pose a lot of problems because I had to travel a lot. But that shouldn’t be a problem for those who houses are nearby, or you can rent a PG.
Stipend/month Rs. 7000/month.
Otherwise there is an unpaid category as well, where you only get reimbursed on the travel expenses.